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    Senate votes unanimously to make daylight saving time permanent

    Clock-switching would come to an end in 2023 under the measure that still must pass the House and get Biden’s signature before it can become law.

    Health

    Senate votes unanimously to make daylight saving time permanent

    Senate votes unanimously to make daylight saving time permanent Clock-switching would end in 2023 under measure that still must pass the House and get Biden’s signature before it can become law

    By Dan Diamond

    March 15, 2022|Updated March 15, 2022 at 4:49 p.m. EDT

    Listen to article 3 min @[email protected]#=img=# (Elise Amendola/AP)

    The Senate voted Tuesday to end the biannual practice of “spring forward” and “fall back” under a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent — a move that reflects the increasingly popular view that the twice-yearly disruption hurts sleep and poses health and safety risks.

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    “Today the Senate has finally delivered on something Americans all over the country want — to never have to change their clocks again,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who co-authored the bipartisan legislation with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), among others.

    The legislation, which passed by unanimous consent, must still get through the House and be signed by President Biden to become law. House leaders and White House officials declined to comment on next steps. “The bill just passed this afternoon and we are reviewing it closely," Carlos Paz Jr., a Pelosi spokesperson, said in a statement. Under the measure, the shift to permanent daylight saving time would take effect next year.

    Senate passes bill to make daylight saving time permanent

    The U.S. Senate on March 15 passed a bill to make daylight saving time permanent all year. (The Washington Post)

    Murray, chair of the Senate’s health panel, and Rubio have argued that switching clocks back and forth every spring and fall has led to increased heart attacks and strokes, in addition to hurting retailers by curbing daylight shopping hours — views long espoused by a gamut of health and business groups. Other senators argued Tuesday that the measure is broadly popular and would increase safety.

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    “I’ll be working the phones to make sure our colleagues in the House waste no time in finally making Daylight Saving Time permanent,” Murray said in a statement. “There is enough going on as it is — and we can fix this one inconvenience pretty easily. I want to get this done for every person who hates dark afternoons in the winter and losing an hour of sleep every spring.”

    Nearly two-thirds of Americans want to stop the twice-per-year clock change, according to an Economist/YouGov poll in November. More than 40 states, including Maryland, are considering their own changes to end the shifting, pending federal legislation.

    Congress weighs permanent daylight saving time in a debate as regular as clockwork

    Once the clocks are rolled back in the winter, “we have sunset in Rhode Island at 4:15 — 4:15!” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). “That means everybody … if they work regular 9-to-5 hours … they are driving home in the pitch dark. And there’s no real need for it. So let’s make it 5:15 instead.”

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    A House panel last week considered whether to enact permanent daylight saving time, although a neurologist testified that it would be healthier to adopt permanent standard time instead, citing research into circadian rhythms and release of hormones such as cortisol.

    “I’m pleased to see momentum building after our hearing last week on the impacts of springing forward and falling back,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “The hearing showed there is widespread agreement on coming up with a permanent solution, and I‘m hopeful that we can end the silliness of the current system soon.”

    Daylight saving time was created to make better use of sunlight during the summer. But as days get shorter in winter, many people experience depression. (Daron Taylor/The Washington Post)

    Daylight saving time was first adopted in the United States a century ago but has since been revised repeatedly by lawmakers trying to strike the right balance. The United States in 1974 did move to permanent daylight saving time — a plan backed by President Richard M. Nixon, who argued that it would help conserve energy amid the energy crisis — but the measure was quickly rolled back amid complaints about children going to school in the dark, increased risk of early-morning traffic accidents and fading support.

    Springing forward to daylight saving time is obsolete, confusing and unhealthy, critics say

    University of Washington law professor Steve Calandrillo, who testified before the House last week and has pushed permanent daylight saving time for more than a decade, said that any change requires a balancing act.

    “If we move to permanent daylight saving time, you’re going to create more morning darkness. That will make it hard to wake up and negatively impact people who have to go to work or school early,” he said. “I’m sensitive to that. But human nature is we want to live our lives in the afternoons, in the evenings. We stay up late. We want to go out.”

    DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

    HAND CURATED

    Daylight saving time: Explaining the century-old debate

    News• March 18, 2022

    Sleep experts say Senate has it wrong: Standard time, not daylight saving, should be permanent

    News• March 16, 2022

    Senate votes unanimously to make daylight saving time permanent

    Source : www.washingtonpost.com

    The U.S. Senate's vote to make daylight savings time permanent may be wrong

    Standard time could be better for our sleep and health than living on permanent summer time.

    HEALTHDAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

    The Senate wants to make daylight saving time permanent—but that could leave Americans with less sleep and worse health

    BY NICHOLAS GORDON

    March 16, 2022 8:53 AM UTC

    Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.

    On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to make daylight saving time permanent from 2023—getting rid of the biannual ritual of Americans changing their clocks back or forth by an hour.

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    The House still needs to pass the so-called Sunshine Protection Act, but if it succeeds, the time Americans live on during the summer—four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)—would now be the standard time across the U.S. year-round. That means later sunrises and sunsets.

    Yet sleep scientists argue the choice of daylight saving time over standard time—in other words, choosing the "spring forward" rather than "fall back" time—would leave Americans permanently out of sync with their natural schedule and potentially lead to a range of health issues.

    Why do we have daylight saving time?

    First applied consistently across the U.S. in 1966, daylight saving is an idea whose time may have passed.

    Originally, daylight saving was meant to reduce energy consumption, by setting clocks forward thus extending the hours of daylight further into the evening. With more sunlight, people require less electricity for artificial lighting. However, research suggests that the changing ways we consume energy means daylight saving time no longer saves enough electricity to be meaningful.

    In fact, one 2008 study found that moving clocks forward actually increased electricity consumption as people started using more power-hungry appliances, like air-conditioning, later into the evening.

    The U.S. population has also trended south in recent decades, with population growth in states like Arizona, Texas, and Florida significantly outstripping their Northern counterparts. Southern states see a smaller seasonal difference in daylight hours, which reduces the need to “save” daylight. For example: northernly Detroit gets over 15 hours of sunlight in the summer and only nine hours in winter. Southernly Austin gets 14 hours of daylight in summer and 10 hours in winter.

    Should we stop changing our clocks?

    Some researchers blame the switch between standard and daylight saving time for a number of social ills, including lost productivity and increased health stress, as people's bodies adjust to the time change.

    One study found a small but significant increase in road accidents on the Monday after the switch to summer time, as the lost hour of sleep affected people’s driving ability. Other studies found the rate of workplace injuries and even heart attacks tends to increase shortly after the U.S. “springs forward.”

    Retailers also support a switch to permanent daylight saving time. A 2017 report from JPMorgan Chase found that shoppers spent 3.5% less in stores in the month immediately following the “fall back” switch to standard time, as earlier sunsets encouraged people to go home rather than shop.

    But perhaps most importantly, Americans generally hate changing the time on their clocks. A 2019 poll found that seven in 10 Americans would prefer leaving their clocks alone.

    Is daylight saving time bad?

    In their fight to "protect sunshine," the U.S. Senate had the choice of making either standard time or daylight saving time permanent. The Senate chose to keep daylight saving, but that might prove to be the worse of the two choices, with potentially worse health outcomes.

    Many sleep scientists support standard time over daylight saving, as the latter more closely aligns with the natural day—and thus our natural body clocks.

    Adopting daylight saving time as standard “leaves us permanently out of sync with the natural environment,” said Joseph Takahashi of the University of South Texas to the New York Times.

    Scientists are also concerned that forcing people to wake up earlier and fall asleep later than their natural body clocks dictate may worsen sleep deprivation, which is linked to increased rates of obesity, diabetes, dementia, and other health issues.

    Studies have found that people working night shifts—forced to work at times that are out of sync with their natural sleep schedule—have higher rates of heart disease and cancer than than those who work daytime hours.

    Why didn’t we do this sooner?

    The U.S. has actually tried to make daylight saving time permanent once before.

    The U.S. tried a permanent switch to daylight saving time in 1974 to save energy during the oil embargo by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries. But after complaints from parents about schools starting in the dark, and a spate of well-publicized road accidents involving children, the U.S. abandoned the practice by October 1974.

    Source : fortune.com

    U.S. Senate approves bill to make daylight saving time permanent

    The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that would make daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023, ending the twice-annual changing of clocks in a move promoted by supporters advocating brighter afternoons and more economic activity.

    March 16, 20224:26 PM UTC

    Last Updated 2 days ago

    U.S. Senate approves bill to make daylight saving time permanent

    By David Shepardson 3 minute read

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    (Error Code: 102630)

    WASHINGTON, March 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that would make daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023, ending the twice-annual changing of clocks in a move promoted by supporters advocating brighter afternoons and more economic activity.

    The Senate approved the measure, called the Sunshine Protection Act, unanimously by voice vote. The House of Representatives, which has held a committee hearing on the matter, must still pass the bill before it can go to President Joe Biden to sign.

    The White House has not said whether Biden supports it. A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to say if she supports the measure but said she was reviewing it closely.

    Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

    Senator Marco Rubio, one of the bill's sponsors, said supporters agreed the change would not take place until November 2023 after input from airlines and broadcasters.

    The change would help enable children to play outdoors later and reduce seasonal depression, according to supporters.

    "I know this is not the most important issue confronting America, but it's one of those issues where there's a lot of agreement," Rubio said. "If we can get this passed, we don't have to do this stupidity anymore."

    "Pardon the pun, but this is an idea whose time has come," he added.

    The National Association of Convenience Stores opposes the change, telling Congress this month "we should not have kids going to school in the dark."

    On Sunday, most of the United States resumed daylight saving time, moving ahead one hour. The United States will resume standard time in November.

    1/2

    A man runs near the reflecting pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument at sunrise on the National Mall in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Al Drago/File Photo

    Since 2015, about 30 states have introduced legislation to end the twice-yearly changing of clocks, with some states proposing to do it only if neighboring states do the same.

    The House Energy and Commerce committee held a hearing on the issue last week, where Representative Frank Pallone, the committee's chairman, said, "The loss of that one hour of sleep seems to impact us for days afterwards. It also can cause havoc on the sleeping patterns of our kids and our pets."

    Pallone backs ending the clock-switching but has not decided whether to support daylight or standard time as the permanent choice.

    At the hearing, Beth Malow, director of the Vanderbilt Sleep Division, argued daylight savings time makes it harder to be alert in the morning, saying it "is like living in the wrong time zone for almost eight months out of the year."

    Pallone cited a 2019 poll that found 71% of Americans prefer to no longer switch their clocks twice a year.

    Supporters say the change could prevent a slight uptick in car crashes that typically occurs around the time changes and point to studies showing a small increase in the rate of heart attacks and strokes soon after the time change. They argue the measure could help businesses such as golf courses that could draw more use with more evening daylight.

    "It has real repercussions on our economy and our daily lives," said Senator Ed Markey, another leading sponsor.

    Daylight saving time has been in place in nearly all of the United States since the 1960s after being first tried in 1918. Year-round daylight savings time was used during World War Two and adopted again in 1973 in a bid to reduce energy use because of an oil embargo and repealed a year later.

    The bill would allow Arizona and Hawaii, which do not observe daylight saving time, to remain on standard time as well as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

    Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Will Dunham, Chizu Nomiyama and Karishma Singh

    Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

    Source : www.reuters.com

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